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Sam Allardyce takes aim at Rafael Benitez and Arsene Wenger’s “fake news”


Sam Allardyce reckons perceptions he is a long ball boss is “fake news”.

And he blames former managerial rivals like Arsene Wenger and Rafael Benitez for spreading the myth.

Allardyce was in defiant mood this week after lowly West Brom “destroyed” Chelsea 5-2.

The Stamford Bridge hosts had Thiago Silva sent off in the 29th minute when they led 1-0.

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But Albion still produced some scintillating attacking football to prevail in stunning fashion.

Veteran boss Allardyce, 66, on his eighth Premier League club, has challenged Albion to now follow it up on Monday night at home to Southampton.

And he could not resist railing against his image as a direct, long ball manager when quizzed if the Chelsea win may change some opinions.

Sam Allardyce has hit out at his critics
Sam Allardyce has hit out at his critics

The former Bolton and Blackburn boss responded: “I don’t have to prove anything to anybody.

“I haven’t had to prove anything to anybody for years and years.

“The fake news in football is equally as fake as it is in politics.

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“The perception is the perception, the reality is not the perception.

“Too many people or fans on social media live on perception and what is perceived and not what the reality is.

“That is the way of the world.

“The reality is go and look at my team where it started.

“You tell me that when Bolton played with Jay-Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff, Nicolas Anelka, Ivan Campo, Fernando Hierro and Stelios Giannakopoulos, El Hadji Diouf and Gary Speed, that we played like that.

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Allardyce enjoyed a successful spell in charge of Bolton and he insists his side wasn't longball
Allardyce enjoyed a successful spell in charge of Bolton and he insists his side wasn’t longball

“But it is long old news, it started with jealous managers who we beat.

“Benitez when we beat Liverpool and Wenger when we beat Arsenal.

“It came from a lot of places which of course is going to be picked up by the media.

“Another one was when we won the 2004 League Cup semi-final against Aston Villa over David O’Leary’s side.

“Long old history, none of them are about any more.

“There is only me – here I am , batting away, over 1,000 games.”

Allardyce reckons 19th-placed Albion’s thrashing of Chelsea was one of the biggest shock results in the Premier League ever by a struggling side in the drop zone.

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It ended Thomas Tuchel’s unbeaten start and was the first time since 2011 Chelsea have conceded five goals at home.

Jay-Jay Okocha developed cult status at Bolton
Jay-Jay Okocha developed cult status at Bolton under Allardyce and was one of several skilful overseas stars

Allardyce, in charge at The Hawthorns since December, added: “My teams play to the strengths and abilities we have.

“My pragmatic approach has always been what are the players capable of?

“If that means we have to play a little bit less in terms of how we get from A to B then we plan that way.

“That is what they are best capable of.

“I play winning football. Winning is the only thing that keeps me in a job.”

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